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Terrence Malick Directs the Latest Sarah Palin Documentary

Posted: 07/01/11 04:27 PM ET

Renowned and reclusive filmmaker Terrence Malick has jumped on the Sarah Palin bandwagon, directing The Thin Rogue Line, a documentary about Palin that comes in the wake of Stephen K. Bannon's The Undefeated and Nick Broomfield's yet-untitled portrait of the former Alaska Governor. When asked to comment about his film, Malick reportedly covered his face with a hat and burrowed underground.

The documentary's existence was a surprise to many colleagues of Malick, who has quietly been in production on his latest feature, Every Blade of Grass in the World. According to inside sources, the three-hour Thin Rogue Line does not consist of any actual footage of Palin, relying instead on a series of shots of caribou, glaciers, and migrating salmon, punctuated by the voice-overs "Can you see Russia from here, God?" and "You betcha!" intoned by Gregorian monks. "I was unaware that Terrence was working on this," said Ronald Amslet, a close friend of Malick's, who has neither seen nor spoken to the director since he was seven years old.

The documentary has so far received mixed reviews from critics: Julia Tech of the Washington Sun Dial has proclaimed the film "pure propaganda," while Jacques-Louis Louis-Jacques of Fanfaron du Cinema notes: "Its binary transgressive morality deliquesces Arcandian purity and dyspeptic Foucaultian somnambulism, creating a dual-time narrative fissure in which cinema self-possession collapses, rejecting meta-pastiche agitprop for an allegory about the camera's ability to view and be viewed." Governor Palin, who has not yet seen the film, commented, "I prefer Malick's earlier, funnier films."